New structure of Photonics21 & the Photonics partnership

New structure Photonics 21


New structure of Photonics21 & the Photonics partnership: Results from the Executive board.

The future structure Photonics PPP – embedded in the new EU Landscape. A new structure, a 2-step process for A-WG’s, tasks and input and a core programm steering board.

The rise of photonics in Europe from a niche activity to a Key Enabling Technology, and on to becoming one of the most important industries for the future, shows how photonics is on its path to making the 21st century that of the photon.

The future structure Photonics PPP – embedded in the new EU Landscape.

Photonics is everywhere around us: from communications and health, to materials processing in production, to lighting and photovoltaics and to everyday products like DVD players and mobile phones. Yet the full disruptive potential of photonics is only now becoming clear. New advances in photonics will revolutionise healthcare and provide new ways of detecting, treating and even preventing illness. In manufacturing, laser processing will be a basic prerequisite for high-volume, low-cost manufacturing. Photonics technology will help overcome the limitations of electronics in computers through all-optical computing or even quantum computing.


The preparation of the Photonics Multiannual Strategic Roadmap has been driven by the European photonics community and the European Technology Platform Photonics21 to foster the set up of a Photonics Public Private Partnership (PPP) within the new Framework Programme Horizon 2020. During the roadmapping process, the photonics community and the Photonics21 Work Group Chairs engaged in a close dialogue with the European Commission Photonics Unit of DG Connect.



Photonics will move communications into the terabit era by dramatically increasing data capacity and data transmission speeds, while simultaneously reducing the networks’ carbon footprint and the overall cost per bit. Photonics will play a key role in addressing the challenges of energy efficiency and moving to a low-carbon economy. In the future, solid-state light sources are expected to outperform almost all other sources in terms of efficiency, offering potential energy savings of 50% or even more, when used with intelligent light management systems. Sensor applications in smart power grids, smart buildings and smart industrial process control will contribute significantly to more efficient use of resources and meeting environmental challenges.

2 step process

Photonics21 is still growing in terms of our membership. Back in 2005, started with 60 members, now, it is an organization with more than 3000 members and about 1700 different organizations are represented. As a voluntary organization is open to new members from all organizations and hierarchy levels. One of the great strength of the platform is that it is inclusive and so engages with a wide community.

Also, in terms of driving growth of membership, the PPP was the first big push when photonics was recognized by the EC as a Key Enabling Technology in 2009. There was another big push in 2013 when the Photonics contractual PPP with the European Commission was established – including an earmarked budget of €700 million over the program period.